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Travel Europe Turkey The palace of the gate arms - Topkapi Palace

The palace of the gate arms - Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey, View from Bosphorus

Topkapi (1463-1835) was a palace in Istanbul which has developed over the centuries and consists of a number of different buildings. The Topkapi functioned primarily as a royal residence and seat of government of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. The palace is a symbol of an absolute ruler who belonged to the powerful in the world.

The word comes from Topkapi Topkapisaray and literally means ‘the palace of the gate arms’. The Topkapi Palace is not in the true sense of the word. This is not a palace that a coherent whole and a stately appearance. Such palaces were in the fifteenth century cannot be found. The Topkapi is a loose collection of royal buildings shelters and government buildings which were added as needed to leave. It is in this respect comparable to the Kremlin in Moscow.

Topkapi is the test of time unscathed; the buildings are still largely intact. The complex consists of four separate buildings around courtyards. The outer part of the palace is the first and greatest court. In this court can be found a hospital and the Hagia Irene; sixth-century Byzantine church, which the Ottomans had been used as armory. The entrance is formed by a medieval gate, where severed heads of traitors were hung on.

In the second court is the State Hall (Divan Odasi) from the early 16th century, the Pearl Pavilion in 1595 and the barracks of the 17th century Irish Halberd. Probably in the 19th century classical spire to the tower added in the garden, from which the sultan could see his palace.
The Gate of Bliss leads into the throne room, the third court. This room is decorated with panels inlaid with tiles from Iznik. The walls and floors were covered with gold fabrics, trimmed with pearls, during an economic crisis in the 18th century were removed. In the third courtyard is also the training institute (Enderun). The best students were as swordtails or equerry in the service of the sultan.

In the fourth court are the two most beautiful pavilions that are probably designed by Agha Hasan. The larger of the two is the Baghdad Pavilion, decorated with blue and white tiles and inlaid woodwork. The sultan was able to relax in a gazebo with a pool. The gilded pavilions of marble and stone are the culmination of Ottoman architecture.

Lived in the harem, as the name somewhat suggests, women, lovers and female relatives of the sultan. At the end of the 18th century, a large number of rooms added to the harem in rococo style. The rooms are equipped with mirrors and colorful paintings of landscapes.
The Topkapi Palace is now open to visitors and provides a glimpse into the era of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. Because of its location on a rocky point one also has a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

Topkapi Palace, along with other great monuments from Turkey like: the Galata Bridge, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Yeni Mosque, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.